Interactive digital whiteboard with a Nintendo Wii remote controler and infrared LED pen. For schools HOWTO

NOTICE!!:

This text is OUTDATED! Please visit:
http://wyxs.net/web/wiiscan/ for a complete and updated version.

Author: Dirk Schouten [schoutdi (at) knoware (dot) nl], Public Primary School Rosa Boekdrukker, Amsterdam, the Netherlands http://rosaboekdrukker.net.

NOTICE:

Since summer 2009 a newer version is available on http://wyxs.net/web/wiiscan/
This version is still useful for reference and creating IR pens.

Contents

1. Introduction
    1.1 Credits and acknowledgements
    1.2 Warning!
    1.3 How to do this HOWTO

2. What is needed in hardware & skills
    2.1 Hardware
    2.2 Skills

3. Preparing the PC

4. Infra-red pen
    4.1 The ingredients
    4.2 The real components
    4.3 Making a test IR pen
    4.4 Testing the basic pen
    4.5 Making a real IR pen
    4.6 Yet another pen
    4.7 Pressure sensitive pen

5. Software
    5.1 .NET framework
    5.2 Wiimote connect
    5.3 Wiimote Whiteboard

6. Here we go
    6.1 The right place
    6.2 Connecting
    6.3 Checking

7. Further refinements
    7.1. Opening the Wii remote controller
    7.2. Powering the Wii
      7.2.1. Powering the Wii via USB
      7.2.2. Powering the Wii via an AC adaptor
      7.2.3. Powering alternatives

8. In the classroom

9. Useful inks

10. Discussion

11. Concluding remarks

12. References

13. Changelog

1. Introduction

Interactive digital whiteboards are rather expensive for most schools, costing between 2000 and 3000. If your school has many classrooms, chances are you cannot equip all your classrooms. with such a device.
However, there is a DIY alternative. For about 50 to 100 and the costs of the beamer[1] you can create a fully functional interactvie digital whiteboard. Its functionality is certainly comparable with commercial equivalents.

Apart from the low costs, there are other advantages:

This HOWTO describes, in a step-by-step way, how to make use of the Nintendo Wii remote controller to build a fully functional digital whiteboard for a classroom. It describes how to build an infra-red LED pen, how to power the Wii controller 'remotely', how to synchronise the Wii and finally it shows the practical setup in a classroom.
We conclude with some useful links and wishes for further improvements.

The intended target audience for this HOWTO are teachers in normal schools. We have done our utmost to keep this HOWTO as simple as possible. Comments, additions, tips, etcetera are most welcome.

1.1 Credits and acknowledgements

The HOWTO is inspired by a demonstration by Johnny Chung Lee: "Creating tech marvels out of a $40 Wii Remote". The demo can be seen on: http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/245. Johnny's marvel is a great step forward in the use of helpful techniques in education.

Lukas Reinhart from Klsheim, Germany, http://www.2style-graphics.de/index2.php?show=about, did a great job in making a program to easily connect the Wii remote controller. This program facilitates the day to day use in the classroom of Wii digital whiteboard softeware. No source available. License?

Boon Jin Gho's "Wiimote Smooth Board". Based on Johnny's and others software. Lots of really useful features --for educational purposes-- and a good manual. See http://www.boonjin.com

Thanks are due to many participans in the Wiimote Project Forum on: http://www.wiimoteproject.com/.

Several companies have been very helpful in assisting us with this project. PC Dokter in Amsterdam, the Netherlands: Mattijs for kicking off the startup and further help and advice. EBV Elektronik in Maarssenbroek for kindly supplying a couple of high-power IR leds: Carol wanted to help education. Radio Rotor in Amsterdam for the voltage regulator that was so difficult to find: Kees did it. Most parts for this project were bought there.

1.2 Warning!

Parts of this HOWTO require you to open the Wii controller, to break the warranty and, maybe, ruin the controller. Neither the author, nor the Public Primary School Rosa Boekdrukker can be held responsible for any damamage, either direct nor inirect, neiter consequential, etcetera. YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN! You have been warned!
No support, help or whatsoever is given on this project.

The legalese above should not prevent you from starting this project. In your school there must be pupils, parents or teachers to whom this project is a normal, doable undertaking. Show them this HOWTO and ask for help, or ask your local electronics hobby club. They will be happy to assist. Not you, but education itself.

1.3 How to do this HOWTO

Please read this HOWTO completely before starting this project.

The best practical approach to the project is to first buy the Wii, then make the pen, do the software and get everything working. If the sectup functions completely, start opening the Wii and do the cable stuff.

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2. What is needed in hardware & skills

2.1 Hardware

For this project you need a Nintendo Wii remote controller, an infra-red light pen, a whiteboard or another white smooth surface, a beamer capable of a 1024 x 786 pixel resolution, a computer with Windows XP, Microsots .NET framework, the WiiremoteConnect program and the Wiiremote Whiteboard software.
Most parts can be downloaded (software) or bought (if necessary: USB 2.0 PCI card and Bluetooth dongle) or can be self made (the infra-red LED pen).
The beamer must be bought or self made [1]. To make the pen you need some electronic parts and tools, described in section 4. Infra-red pen. For the extension of the sync button and the remote powering you need some more tools and electronic parts. This is described in section 7. Further refinements

2.2 Skills

For the PC part of this project you need basic computer skills like downloading, saving, unpacking and moving files, installing simple software and creating icons.

For the making of the IR pen very basic do-it-yourself skills are useful: cutting, sawing and soldering. A basic soldering course can be found on http://www.aaroncake.net/electronics/solder.htm. And here is a Dutch site http://www.popschoolmaastricht.nl/homepage_frameset.htm?page=college_solderen.htm.

The extension of the sync button and the remote powering of the Wii need a bit more than basic skills, mainly precision and patience.

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3. Preparing the PC

This section describes what to do on the PC to obtain USB 2.0 and Bluetoot and to check its functionality. When your computer supports USB 2.0 and has Bluetooth functionality on board, you might want to skip this section an proceed to section 4. Infra-red pen.

We carried out the project on a Compaq D500, Pentium IV 1,8 GHz processor and 512 Mb of RAM. Operating System: Windows XP SP2 with all patches and fixes.

OK, so far so good. In the next section we will describe the making of the infra-red pen.

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4. Infra-red pen

What seems the most difficult part is in reality rather easy to construct when you take time. When you are a novice in pen building, the first one will take you several hours, but the reward is high: you made your own IR pen! Building the pen is like following a receipe in a cookbook.

4.1 The ingredients

These are the ingredients for the IR pen:

The electronic components can be connected in such a way that they form a circuit. Here is the wiring diagram (the recipe in terms of the cook):

[ circuit of LED, battery and switch ]
circuit_ir_pen.jpg

When the contacts of the momentary switch are connected, a circuit is formed and the LED will emit infra-red light.

4.2 The real components

The wiring diagram tells you how to connect the parts as they lay before you on the table. These are the components that form the electroc parts in the IR pen:

[ ir pen ingredients ]
Click ir_pen_ingredients.jpg to enlarge (or click on the image to open in new window)
Explanation:
  1. Infra-red LED
  2. AA size battery
  3. Momentary switch
  4. Black flexible wire
  5. Red flexible wire
  6. Heat shrinkable insulation tube
  7. Battery holder
  8. Pen

NOTICE: The pen can be 'anything'. We found a toy ballpoint. A big Edding felt marker can also be used, or anything that makes something like a pen and that can contain the battery holder, the switch and the LED. Use your imagination and visit a stationary, a beauty shop or an emporium.

Here are the tools used for the construction of the pen:

[ tools needed to make ir pen ]
Click ir_pen_tools_used.jpg to enlarge (or click on the image to open in new window)

4.3 Making a test IR pen

Here is the basic wiring, just to show everyting in one picture.

[ connection between led, switch and battery in reality ]
Click ir_pen_battery+switch+led.jpg to enlarge (or click on the image to open in new window)

Maybe it's an idea to first build this basic circuit and test it. It's a good practice for the real work. Your momentary switch might have only 2 connections. Ours came with 4, so 2 remained unused and could be cut off. The most difficult part here is observing the wire lengths on the LED and connecting the right wire to the right part..
NOTICE: A tip on soldering the LED. A LED is a bit sensitive to the heat of the soldering iron. With the pair of tweezers on the LED pins you can reduce the heat flowing to the LED via the pins:

[ led in pair of tweezers ]
Click ir_pen_led+tweezers.jpg to enlarge (or click on the image to open in new window)

4.4 Testing the basic pen

The basic wiring can be checked in two ways: 1. using a digital photocamera or a camera in a cellphone or, 2. With your lips. Both methods are described.

4.4.1 Testing with a camera

Digital cameras are sensitive to infra-red light. Below is a picture of the basic circuit (believe me). The picture is taken in the dark and the momentary switch is not pressed:

[ darkness ]
ir_pen_switch_off.jpg

In the picture below the switch is pressed. The white dot proves the LED emits infra-red light, i.e the circuit is functioning.

[ darkness with white spot ]
ir_pen_switch_on.jpg

4.4.2 The lip test

This test is not dangerous. Your lips are sensitive test devices. Hold the infra-red LED to your lips and press the switch for about 30 seconds. Within that time you feel the emitting infra-red radiation as warmth on your lips. When you hav made an error, no heat is felt. Change the + and - to the LED.

4.5 Making a real IR pen

Now desolder the components and start building the pen. Here are a few shots from ours.

[ pen taken apart ]
Click ir_pen_disassembled.jpg to enlarge (or click on the image to open in new window)

After removing all the parts of the pen that have to do with writing, the plan is as follows:

[ led, wired, with shrink tubes  ]
Click ir_pen_led+wires+shrink.jpg to enlarge (or click on the image to open in new window)

The shrink tube is shrinked by gently moving the hot part of the soldering iron to all sides of the tube.

As can be seen on the specifications sheet, the LED has a diameter of 5 mm. With three drills (3 mm, 4 mm and 5 mm) we enlarge the hole in the tip. The plasitc easily breaks so that's why the 3 drills.
When trying to fit the led, too much force is needed, so a 5.5 mm. drill is used to enlarge the hole for another 0,5 mm. Trying again, the LED won't come out of the hole far enough. With a file the rim of the LED is removed. Now the LED fits perfectly.

[ tip of pen with led ]
Click ir_pentip+led.jpg to enlarge (or click on the image to open in new window)

Now for the hole in the pen.

[ hole in the pen ]
Click ir_pen_switch_hole.jpg to enlarge (or click on the image to open in new window)

With a saw and the tip of the soldering iron a hole is made. Yes, we know it's bad for the tip and we will clean it immediately after this operation and put some solder on the tip. With the file the hole is made square to fit the momentary switch.

ERROR: There is an error in the picture below! Both wires must be red.

[ switch wired with shrink tubes ]
Click ir_pen_switch_wired.jpg to enlarge (or click on the image to open in new window)

The switch is wired and can be glued in the pen.

[ pen complete with electronic components before assemblage ]
Click ir_pen_complete_open.jpg to enlarge (or click on the image to open in new window)

The pen is ready to be assembled. Test the pen as earlier described.

4.6 Yet another pen

Below is a picuture of another pen we made. Looks more like the old fashioned piece of chalk:

[ piece of chalk-like ir pen ]
Click ir_pen_piece_of_chalk.jpg to enlarge (or click on the image to open in new window)

4.7 Pressure sensitive pen

Under construction.

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5. Software

This section descrbes the installation of the .NET software, the WiimoteConnect software and the Whiteboard software.

5.1 .NET Framework

If not installed, download the 'Microsoft .NET Framework Version 2.0 Redistributable Package (x86)' from: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID= 0856EACB-4362-4B0D-8EDD-AAB15C5E04F5&displaylang=en. (too long URL splitt)

Accept the license agreement and install the software.

We could not find a simple test to check if the software was properly installed.

5.2 Wiimote connect

Download the WiimoteConnect software that will faciltate the procedure to connect the Wii Remote via Bluetooth here: http://www.2style-graphics.de/wiiconnect/WiimoteConnect-0.5.rar. Download the WiimoteConnect-0.5.rar file.
NOTICE: .rar is a compression format, like .zip. It must like .zip files be unpacked, for example with 7-Zip from http://www.7-zip.org/. Details on WiimoteConnect program can be found on: http://www.wiimoteproject.com/wiimote-and-bluetooth-connectivity/ wiimoteconnect-searching-beta-testers-update-please-test-it-t954.0.html. (too long URL split)

5.3 Wiimote Whiteboard

Johnny Lee also has a project page at: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~johnny/projects/wii/ were you can find a description and downloads for the software. Download and save the WiimoteWhiteboardv02.zip file.

Unzip, unrar and install the Wiiremoteconnect software and the Whiteboard software in 2 directories on your computer and create two desktop icons: 'WiimoteWhiteboard' and 'WiimoteConnect'.

You are now ready for the real thing, piecing it all together. That's handled in the next section.

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6. Here we go

You need the PC with the software, a beamer, a whiteboard, the Wii remote controller and the IR pen. First you have to determine the right place for the Wii, then you can, via Bluetooth, connect PC and Wii.

NOTICE:
You can also test without a beamer by using an LCD screen. Do not use a CRT monitor. The radiated heat from the screen may give unpredicatble results.

6.1 The right place

Proper plcaemt of the Wii controller is vital to precision in resolution, i.e. the practical work with the whiteboard in the classroom. When the controller is too close to the screen the four calibration points will not be seen by the IR camera in the Wii controller. When the controller is too far away, the calibration points will be found with ease, but you loose on tracking resolution. This can be demonstrated by opening a paint program and using a ruler (a real one, not a virtual) to draw a straight line on the whiteboard.

[ 2 lines ]
resolution.jpg

The difference is stunning! Here are the facts:
The beaamer screen area on the whiteboard is 1.60 meter wide. The real straight line is about 85 cm. long and is drawn from center screen to lower right corner.
With the straight line, the Wii is placed at 2.10 meters distance from center screen, about 65 centimeters above the beamer, so facing the whiteboard at a 90 degrees angle.
With the 'not so straight' line, the Wii is placed at a distance of 3.30 meters from center screen, aside from the beamer in an angle of about 45 degrees with the beamer.
The IR camera seems to have a 45 degrees horizotal viewing angle. When attaching the beamer to the ceiling, placing the wii in the neighbourhood of the beamer facing the projection field at such a distance that the viewing angle of the camera is optimally used. You can perfectly use Boon Jins program to precisely find the best place for the Wii. His program also has a line smoothing function.

6.2 Connecting

6.3 Checking

It's not necessary, but here is a checking procedure to see if the devices are added:

Another check:

This is not the preferred connection method in a classroom environment.

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7. Further refinements

In a classroom, a teacher most times uses a whiteboard fixed to a wall and the Wiimote will be fixed to the ceiling, just like the beamer. In this environment it's a bit clumsy to every day find a ladder, climb to the Wii, press some buttons and have another teacher start the WiimoteConnect program. The same goes for changing the batteries. In this section we will see if we can do better.
Below are the next steps to take in this project. You have to take your schools Wiimote apart and solder a few wires in it. The wires connect to the red sync momentary switch under the battery cover and connect to a remote switch to solve the daily ladder problem. The empty battery problem is solved by connecting wires to the battery joints and power the Wiimote via an AC adaptor or the USB port on the PC.

Here are the steps to take.

7.1. Opening the Wii remote controller

This section describes how to open the Wii remote controller and attach wires, so the red synchronise button can be operated from a distance and an external power source can be used to replace the batteries.

NOTICE: There are many alternatives to this operation. Here are a few suggestions:

There must be more and/or even better ideas to circumvent the ladder problem.
YES! There are. Adri came with the idea to replace the cable soldered to the Wii and the printed circuit board. Use RJ-11 connectors (Registered Jack, 4 pin telephone connector). Glue one in the cover of the empy battery compartiment of the Wii and the other in the PCboard enclosure. Buy or make a cable on the right length with 2 RJ-11 connecors. Not tested.

Now the other end of the cable must get it's final destination. This is treated in the next section.

7.2. Powering the Wii

To remotely power the Wii you can choose two solutions: an AC power adapter or powering the Wii via USB. The Wii needs 3 Volts DC (Direct Current) or less. Alkaline batteries provide about 1,5 Volt. Nickel cadmium or NiMh cells provide 1,2 Volt. It seems important not to overpower the Wii, so we use a voltage regulator to keep the voltage at 2.85 volts. This makes the use of the power source less critical. An AC adapter, laying around in the school or at someone's home, supplying 3 to 7 Volts is fine. The voltage regulator will bring down the voltage to 2,85 Volts.
You can also use the power that is available via the USB connectors on your PC. USB connectors supply 5 Volts. The voltage regulator will bring it down to 2,85 volts.
When working on the power supply we also make a warning light, indicating the Wii is powered. We use a red 3 volt LED.

7.2.1. Powering the Wii via USB

When your PC has more USB ports, or you found an USB PCI card with multiple ports, you can use one of them to power the Wii. An USB port has + 5 volt to power small USB devices that use little current. Here is the pin configuration of an USB connector:

[ USB A pinouts ]
USB_A_pinout.jpg[3]

Find an old USB cable from a broken device, or an USB extension cable, cut off the 'other' end and strip the insulation. Here is an example:

[ USB cable, one side cut off  ]
USB_cable.jpg

The 4 wires, red, black, white and green can be seen, as well as the shielding that protects the data transmission from electromagnetic radiation. The shielding is not needed in this project since we only use the power wires.

These are the ingredients to power the Wii via USB

[ USB powering: components ]
Click USB_ingredients.jpg to enlarge (or click on the image to open in new window)
Explanation (of the red numbers in picture ):
  1. A polar capacitor of 100 F (micro Fahrrad). A capacitor is a device that can hold and release current. Polar means it has a + and a - side. This is the symbol for the 2 polar capacitors we use:

    [ symbol of capacitor ]
    symbol_polar_capacitor.jpg

    In the shop they will ask you: "What voltage?". Answer:"Above 20 volts or so, whatever you got if it's small". The same goes for the other capacitor.

  2. A voltage regulator. It's an electronic part that can bring a high voltage down to a lower value. This is the symbol:

    [ symbol of voltage regulator  ]
    symbol_voltage_regulator.jpg

    We use an LM 1117DT 285, manufactuired by National Semiconductor. It can bring voltages not higher than 7 Volt down to 2.85 Volt. In the specification sheet lm1117.pdf you can find all details including wiring diagrams.

    Explanation (of the white numbers at the LM1117DT 285 in the picture USB_ingredients.jpg):

    1. Reference. Connects to - (minus or 'ground'). Both the minuses from the USB connector and the Wii battery are connected to this pin.
    2. Out. Connects to the Wii with + 2.85 Volts. The same 'pin' can be found on top of the regulator, so it has the same number. We will use that 'pin' to facilitate soldering and to fix the regulator on a piece of printed circuit board.
    3. In. This pin connects to the red + 5 Volt wire on the USB cable.

  3. A polar capacitor of 10 F. See above for details.
  4. A resistor of 60 Ohm. Because of the voltage of 2,85 Volts you cannot directly connect the LED. The resistor, set in series with the LED, reduces the current the LED gets. This is the symbol of a resistor:

    [ symbol of resistor ]
    symbol_resistor.jpg

  5. A plain ordinary 1,5 Volt red LED. You know the symbol from the IR pen.
  6. A piece of printed circuit board. It will b eused to solder the components and wires on. We bought a piece of 5 x 10 centimeter. Enough for about 5 classrooms.

NOTICE: The LM1117DT 285 is chosen because it needs no adjustments or extra parts and it makes the voltage supplied to the Wii less critical.
There are many alternatives for the LM1117 DT285 voltage regulator. You could use a adjustable voltage regulator, or two resistors of fixed values, or one adjustable resistor, but then you have to find the correct values of the resistors yourself and, IMHO, you end up with a poor design that's not stable enough for use in schools.

Here is the electronic circuit diagram:

[ USB powering wiring diagram ]
circuit_usb_power.jpg

And this is the plan:

Here we go, this is the execution:

[ USB powering: drawing of pc board  ]
Click USB_power_design.jpg to enlarge (or click on the image to open in new window)

As you can see we also put the 60 Ohm resistor for the LED on the PC board.
With a 4 mm. drill, by hand the copper is removed and with a sharp cutter the remains are removed.

[ printed circuit ]
Click USB_power_pc-board.jpg to enlarge (or click on the image to open in new window)

With a pair of tweezers and a rubber band the voltage regulator is held in position, ready for soldering.

[ printed circuit with voltage regulator ]
Click USB_power_pc_board+voltage_regulator.jpg to enlarge (or click on the image to open in new window)

The capacitors and the LED are mounted on the other side of the pc-board.

[ printed circuit ready ]
Click USB_power_pc_board_ready.jpg to enlarge (or click on the image to open in new window)

ERROR! The 60 ohm resistor is not soldered on the pc board. You can see the resistor in the picture 'enclosure.jpg' below.
The LED is wired to the PC board. Everything is ready to connect the last parts to the board: the USB cable and wires, the on/off switch and, finally, the Wii.

  • Strip about 10 cm. of the USB's cable insulation, remove the electromagnetic shielding and the cotton. Cut short the green and white wire and insulate the ends with pieces of heat shrinkable tube to prevent short circuits. Push back the insulation of the cable to the wires ending to cover the protruding shield and cotton. It should look like this: the white line in the picture indicates where the shield and cotton end.

    [ USB calbe end with drawn white line ]
    Click USB_cable_end.jpg to enlarge (or click on the image to open in new window)

    Prepare the enclosure by drilling holes, sawing and filing until you end up like this:

    [ enclosure for pc board ]
    Click enclosure.jpg to enlarge (or click on the image to open in new window)

    Before we start solering the wires we make a knot in the cable coming from the Wii and the USB connector cable. You can also use a tie-wrap, kit, or anyting else to make a pull reliever.

  • Start with the cable coming from the Wiimote. Solder the yellow and green wires to the momentary switch. For the last time (hopefully) insert the batteries in the Wii and test the momentary switch. After testing, do not forget to remove the batteries!
  • Take the USB cable. Solder the red + (plus) wire on one pin of the on/off switch. Solder a red wire from the other pin of the on/off switch to the pc board on a copper lane of pin 3 of the voltage regulator.
  • Solder the USB cable's black - (minus) wire to a ground copper lane (where the minuses of the capacitors are connetced, for example).
  • Meticulously inspect the copper side of the printed circuit board for solder spikes and short circuits between the copper lanes. Remove them with a sharp knife, screwdriver, pin, etcetera.
  • TEST!! Put the switch to its 'off' position, Connect the USB cable to the USB entrance of the PC. Set the switch to 'ON'. The LED should light up.
    If not, switch off and check everything. If the LED lights up and you have a multimeter, check the output voltage. It shoudl be 2,85 volts.
  • Connect the Wiimote's black - (minus) wire to the copper lane of the - of the capacitors.
  • Connect the Wiimote's red + (plus) wire to the copper lane of pin 2 of the voltage regulator.
  • For the last time, inspect the copper side of the printed circuit board for solder spikes and short circuits between the copper lanes.
  • Piece it all together. With us it looks like:

    [ USB powering enclusure ready ]
    Click USB_powering_ready.jpg to enlarge (or click on the image to open in new window)

  • If necessary, put some kit on the LED and the USB- and Wii wires. Close the cover and put some rubber bands around it.
  • Test 'everything' possible before attaching the four screws of the enclosure.
  • Enjoy!

    In the next section we will treat powering the Wii via an AC to DC adaptor.

    7.2.2. Powering the Wii via an AC adapter

    Maybe its an idea to first read the previous section. Almost certainly it will convince yoiu that powering the Wii via a AC to DC converter is a piece of cake. In fact the only thing you hav eto do is replace the USB cable for an AC to DC adapter. Hoewver, to play everything on the safe side, here are our guidelines:

    In the next section we will consider alternatives to powering tyhe Wii.

    7.2.3. Powering alternatives

    There are many alternatives to powering the Wii remotely. Here are a few we have found out so far:

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    8. In the classroom

    We pieced togehter some wood as a beamer stand and fitted it in one of the ceiling panes. Please bear in mind that we are still in the prototyping stage. Below is a picture of the Wii mount on the ceiling. A hole of 5 x 20 mm. was drilled in the battery cover.

    PICTURE NOT YET READY

    [ wii hole in battery cover ]
    Click classroom_wii_hole.jpg to enlarge (or click on the image to open in new window)

    Two hooks and two 5 mm. coach bolts and butterfly nuts are used to precisely fix the wiimote. In this way calibaation is seldom necessary.

    [ wii mounted on ceiling ]
    Click classroom_wii_mounted.jpg to enlarge (or click on the image to open in new window)

    [ overview of beamer, whiteboard and wii in classroom ]
    Click classroom_ceiling_2.jpg to enlarge (or click on the image to open in new window)

    We have replaced the blackboard with a formica surface of 200 x 130 centimeters. 2 speakers are not yet mounted. Enlarge the picture to see the beeamer mounting.

    [ pupil with pen writing on whiteboard  ]
    Click classroom_whiteboard_1.jpg to enlarge (or click on the image to open in new window)

    Pupils have no problem using the infrared pen (chalk version) to write their first words.

    [ pc wit the wii powering and switch  ]
    Click classroom_pc+wiipower.jpg to enlarge (or click on the image to open in new window)

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    9. Useful links

    Below are links that relate to the technical hard- and software aspects of the digital whiteboard with the Wii remote controller. Educational applications are handled in the chapter Educational software for the Wii remote digital whiteboard with IR LED pen HOWTO. Some links overlap. This chapter is heavily under constructoi#$n.

    Uwe Schmidt created a Mac version in Java of Johnny Lee's original WiimoteWhiteboard program. It can be found at http://www.uweschmidt.org/wiimote-whiteboard. Comes with source and good license.

    Linux electronic whiteboard - This is an effort to make a GNU/Linux port of Johnny Chung Lee's program http://code.google.com/p/linux-whiteboard/

    Boon Jin Cho's "Wiimote Smooth Board". Also based on Johnny's software with lots of really useful features -- for educational purposes-- and a good manual. See http://www.boonjin.com. You need the WiimoteSmoothboard0.2.rar version and not the 0.2.2. Use 7-Zip from http://www.7-zip.org/ to unrar.
    No source (yet?) and unclear license.

    A teacher compares the Wiimote interactive whiteboard versus a commercial interactive whiteboard: hhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSDxc2kFjms&feature=related

    Jason Smith Wiimote Presenter uses the wiimote the other way around as described in this howto. The IR source is fixed, the Wii moves. Fascinating possibilities for presentations, see Wiimote Presenter was initially created to use the Wiimote with PowerPoint presentations. Needs .NET framework 3.5. Good manual.

    The Wiimote Forum http://www.wiimoteproject.com/ offer valuable information, ideas, solutions for problems and help.

    The WiiYourself! project. Libraries (?) to create software. This link is not for immediate use. http://wiiyourself.gl.tter.org/

    Description of Wii remote (very technical): http://wiibrew.org/w/index.php?title=Wiimote

    Wiimote/Drivers: http://www.wiili.org/index.php/Wiimote_driver

    WiiMoteStackTester by Pat Glynn: http://www.hl2world.com/bbs/1-vt47004.html?start=0. Pat writes: "Stack tester. Wiimote connect testing program. If the program does not close on you and you see the raw wiimote values your wiimote will work". Not yet tested (ds).

    Bluetooth Guide: http://www.jonsguides.com/bluetooth/index.html. A very good guide to get Bluetooth working.

    List of Working Bluetooth Devices: > http://wiibrew.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_Working_Bluetooth_Devices

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    10. Discussion

    Using the Wii in conjunction with a beamer and whiteboard in a classroom asks for a real simple setup. Most teachers are good in teaching, not in computing, configuring software or complicated setup procedures. Here are some ideas, wishes, uncertainties and stuff for discussion.

    The Nunchuk connector at the rear has 6 pins according to:: http://www.wiili.org/index.php/Wiimote/Extension_Controllers/Nunchuk#Connector
    1 - green - data
    2 - nothing
    3 - red - 3.3+v
    4 - yellow - clock
    5 - nothing
    6 - white - ground
    
    Pin 2 and 5 seem not used by the Nunchuck. Can we use them for synchronisation? And pin 3 and 6 for powering? This would eliminate any soldering in the Wii

    New details available, see below.

    The pinouts of the Wii from http://wiire.org/Wii/protocols/wiimote_bus from which we quote:
    [quoe]

    The Wiimote accessory bus is a 6 pin data connection that can connect various attachments (the Nunchuk, or the Classic Controller) to the Wiimote and use it to relay control data back to the Wii console. Although there are 6 pins, so far it appears one is completely unused, and one is included but it's use has not yet been determined.

    [edit]

    Wiimote Bus Pins (6-pin proprietary connector on Wiimote)

    Looking into Wiimote:

     _________
    |   135   |
    |   246   |
    |___---___|
    


    [end quote]

    Who can help finding a connector to the bus? Is it possible to power the Wii via the bus? Is it possible to sync via the bus? No need to open the Wii anymore! Any ideas welcome.

    Another link on the Wii Remote pinouts: http://www.hardwarebook.info/Wiimote_Expansion_Port from which we quote:

    Available at the Wiimote, remote control of Nintendo Wii.

    For connection of Classic or Nunchuck controller to Wiimote.

    Pinout

    |~~_____~~|
    |         |
    |  6 4 2  |
    |  -----  |
    |  5 3 1  |
    \_________/
    

    From the Wiimote side

    Pin Cable color Description
    1 Red 3.3V
    2 Green SDA. IC Serial Data
    3 Red Connected to 3.3V inside attachment connector
    4 - Not connected.
    5 Yellow SCL. IC Serial Clock. (400 kHz)
    6 White Ground

    Notes

    Source

    [end quote]

    My humble opinion on the pinouts:

    [ open wii connector and cable end ]
    wii_connector_1.jpg

    [ wii rear with open connector and wires ]
    Click wii_connector_2.jpg to enlarge (or click on the image to open in new window)

    Everything mentioned on wire colours seems not valid and can change with differing cable manufacturers. Everyone seems to agrees on this pinout:

    ----___----
    |  6 4 2  |
    |  -----  |
    |  5 3 1  |
    ----------- metal SHIELD
    
    This is what you see looking at the rear of the Wii. For us the following seems important: Does this mean that the connector is useless for classroom use because the connector cannot be used to power the wii in a simple way? That is:, supply 3 volt via the connector and use pin 4 to synchronise by connecting it to SHIELD. More info needed.

    Maybe we need a combination of:

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    11. Concluding remarks

    Every time new details are found, new solutions are tried (success and failures!) and in the classroom new ideas emerge. This project iss surely is a project under construction.
    Comments, hints and critique are most welcome as well as improvements on the language. We're not native speakers and had to use a Dutch Windows XP version.

    Technical support and advice is also most welcome to help schools in obtaining a cheap digital interactive whiteboard. Thank you for your attention.

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    12. References

    [1]
    There are many DIY projects to build a beamer. Google is your friend. Main advantages from a schools perspective: Low- or no noise in your classroom, cheap and easy lamp replacement, not attractive to thieves, ideal to demonstrate a lot of optical and technical priciples.
    [2]
    Picture taken from: http://www.pondelectronics.com/. '+' and '-' added by author.
    [3]
    Picture taken from http://www.riccibitti.com/, a great site for simple DIY electronic PC projects. Even the making of a printed circuit board is clearly described. Worth a detour.

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    13. Changelog

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    Copyright 2008, Dirk Schouten
    Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Netherlands License.

    (top)

    Author: Dirk Schouten <schoutdi at knoware dot nl>
    Last updated: 2013-01-02